Ahhh summer is here.  I spent most of today covered in a thick layer of sweat, perhaps visibly not enjoying my time out in the sun.  It’s not that I dislike summer, but rather it’s that I don’t deal well with humidity, shorts, tank tops, or pools of sweat collecting under my armpits- all of which are ingredients for a typical Chicago summer.  My only solace was returning home to a blast of cool dry 75-degree air.  Indoors I spent a lot of time slumped on a couch or lying in my bed watching YouTube clips of Svetlana the Russian prostitute.  I also greatly enjoyed eating a mochi ice cream ball.

Anyway, it’s been a long hiatus.  I have many goodies to post and hopefully I won’t get so distracted I don’t actually post them.  Today I will share with you a wonderful quick recipe from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit.  I don’t have a great track record for making cookies but these shortbread cookies were fantastic despite being a bit dry (If you eat more than one your mouth turns into a desert).  I suspect it was because I didn’t use enough lemon juice.  Will definitely make again and highly recommend to anyone with a blender or food processor.  The flavors were quite subtle and best of all they taste like they should have taken longer to make.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what proper blogging etiquette is when it comes to swiping something from a magazine, but here’s a link to the original recipe.  I only modified it slightly…. and by that I mean negligibly.

This is what my cookie batter looked like after it was processed.


1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2c confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) plus more for pressing cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, preferably straight out of fridge, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 tbsp slivered or diced basil leaves

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp lime zest

1/4 tsp salt (original recipe recommends kosher salt)


A grater

A blender or food processor

A baking tray preferably lined with wax paper

How to Make:

Preheat the oven to 375F.  In the food processor/blender, combine all ingredients and blend until a homogeneous mixture forms.  Do not overmix!  You want to get “large, moist clumps.”  In a separate plate or flat-bottomed bowl, pour some confectioners sugar and spread around the bottom of the bowl.  Scoop out approximately one tablespoon of dough at a time and roll into a ball.  One by one, press down on the balls in the extra confectioners sugar until they become flat disks about 2″ in diameter.  Brush off excess sugar.  Lay them out evenly on the baking tray.  Bon Appetit says to spread them about 2″ apart from each other but 1″ is probably more than enough.  They don’t expand too far.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are brown (Mine took 16 minutes).  Let cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!




PS- Thought I would share a little morsel from my trip to China.  Below is a photo of me and ma at the panda reserve in Sichuan.  As my mom’s friend says, “AMERICANS LOVE PANDAS.  WHY ELSE WOULD THEY MAKE KUNG FU PANDA??”  Good reasoning.